News out of Jamaica this week is that LIME has to pay Digicel more than J$1.5 billion dollars for wrongly withholding money for calls from LIME’s fixed line subscribers to Digicel mobile phones. This is not the first time the regulators have had to arbitrate to force telecommunications companies in the region to do the honest thing. All the while LIME, Digicel and the others push the message of being good corporate citizens.
Have we, Barbadian consumers, ever wondered who is championing our rights? In the same way LIME and Digicel who are always at each other’s throats to demand their rights – what about the consumers? The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and other bodies have been created with supporting legislation to safeguard consumer interest as well as the Utilities but one gets the impression after several years that the system is not responding to citizens in the same way it does for the utilities. What are consumers to do in the circumstances? Our politicians have no motivation to change anything because they are puppets of these corporate marauders. We have a non existent consumer body. Our citizens are lazy and see no need to forcefully demonstrate against the system. Some will say we deserve being chaffed.